From Colombia to México, Lina Alfaro Moves Forward Her Career and the Role of Women in Engineering
Lina Alfaro is an Electrical Engineer with a broad background in networks and telecommunications and a great deal of experience in the administration and technical support of Windows Server OS systems and video security applications. She holds Advanced Certification in Milestone XProtect products and routinely designs overall systems as well as dives into the details of configuring routers and switches for optimum deployment.
With excellent technical and personal skills, and a proven ability to work under pressure, it’s no mystery that Lina was recently promoted from Frontline Support Manager, Latin America, to Technical Services Manager at Milestone Systems, based at Milestone’s newly opened México City office. In fact, Lina will continue to manage the Technical Support team, as well as Professional Services and PreSales for Latin America. Her combined groups are planned to number more than 10 people by the end of the year.
And if these achievements weren’t enough, Lina explains that business, engineering and especially the security industry are very male dominated throughout Latin America. For women to develop careers in technology is still quite rare, and to have a leadership and management position, even more so.
“In Colombia, they will say that there are ‘a lot’ of women in Engineering; for every one hundred men there are maybe fifteen women – that is a lot,” says Lina, smiling. “But in Mexico, for example, when I introduce myself as an Engineer, they don’t believe me. In my five years in Mexico, I have yet to meet another woman Engineer!”
Lina obtained her engineering degree from Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, in Colombia. She specialized in Telecommunications and Networking at the Universidad del Sinú in Montería.
“Even when I was very young, I always loved math and engineering. My childhood dream was to work for NASA,” said Lina. “I realized working at NASA may not be very realistic, but I kept studying math and engineering, and it is serving me well.”
Lina began her career by designing, selling and administrating network video systems in Colombia through Milestone Partners like TelMex and Axesat. While at TelMex, Lina forged good relationships with the Milestone team, and soon jumped at the chance to join the company and relocate to Mexico City. She joined the Milestone team as a Supporting Engineer, then eight months later was promoted to Team Leader, then six months after that became the Frontline Manager.
“Everything has happened quickly, the market is growing so fast, and I’m grateful to Milestone for this opportunity,” said Lina. “My managers and mentors at Milestone have been very supportive — Michael Gaul for example. Everyone’s support has made a huge difference, and I work to extend this to others.”
Last October, Lina traveled to Denmark to take part in the Milestone Leadership People (MLP) program, an extensive training program for managers at all levels of the organization. The program helps ensure that Milestone managers from every location speak the same language, and support the same values.
“I love my team, they are very professional but at the same time very friendly,” said Lina. “Genuine partnerships and relationships are key in Latin America. We keep it all respectful and professional, obviously, but customers really appreciate their relationships with our team.”
Lina and her staff have built a demonstration and training lab within the Mexico City office and are currently looking to recruit a Portuguese-speaking team member to serve customers in Brazil.
“Our customers are very interested in LenelS2 access control integrations as well as video analytics and cloud-based products,” adds Lina. “The technology evolving is exciting, and we’re all working hard to be prepared for the future.”
Lina is certainly no stranger to hard work and will no doubt find success in her newest role. Please join us in congratulating Lina Alfaro on her promotion to Technical Services Manager, Latin America — and in all her accomplishments.